Amazon Web Services Launches CloudFormation Application Service
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the launch of CloudFormation, a service designed to make it easier for developers to automatically create and deploy collections of cloud infrastructure and resources. In theory, it helps match application to resources by way of simple, text file-based templates. Describe the cloud resources you need and AWS CloudFormation automatically provisions them in the right order.
According to the CloudFormation FAQ, it’s designed to work seamlessly with the Amazon Web Services Elastic Beanstalk. Elastic Beanstalk is a cloud application development environment that also helps manage the application’s lifecycle. Couple it with CloudFormation, and you have a way to predictably and repeatedly deploy the infrastructure and resources — like Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), Simple Email Server (SES), or an Amazon EC2 instance — to support it.
To get started, Amazon is providing developers with CloudFormation templates for popular open source applications like WordPress and Gollum so you can see what it’s all about. And best of all, it’s completely free to Amazon Web Services customers. You only pay for the AWS resources consumed.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk and now AWS CloudFormation seem almost like a way to bridge the gap between their own IaaS offering and the Microsoft Windows Azure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) product. But this may be one area where Microsoft has the edge — there are a lot of ISVs comfortable with .NET in general and Windows in specific out there.